Guest Star: "I Tell All Students Hoping To Make It To Get Their Internet Presence Up" -DJ Michael "5000" Watts

Thursday, Aug 5, 2010 10:00AM

Written by SOHH for DJ Michael "5000" Watts

[DJ Michael "5000" Watts schools students to the game of music]

My company, Swisha House, has had a connection with Grammy U [a network of college students pursuing careers in the music industry], and Paul Wall is actually one of the chair members of the Texas Chapter and I'm really the type of person who doesn't mind going out there and letting the people of the future know about the music business.

We've been participating in Grammy U for about the past three or four years. The Grammy U Foundation is a national organization but I practice with the Texas Chapter here in Houston so we focus on artists that are primarily Texas-based.

When we get together, it's never hard for me because the kids there are music industry people. It's not hard for me because I've been in the music industry for 20 years and the majority of the questions I get asked are things that I can relate to. They ask everything, from publishing and distribution to anything you can imagine, music-wise.

One big pieces of advice I give to all these students hoping to make it in the business is to get them to get their Internet presence up. The Internet is really where it's been at for the last couple years and most of the kids coming up in the music industry that are involved with Grammy U, they're already on it. They know the importance of having a strong Internet presence with the way music sales are going down.

As far as whether college kids should go for a career with a major record label or an independent company, it depends on what your personal goals are.  If your goals are to be a star and not run a record company, well, you can build yourself up on an independent label and you could probably branch off of that but it comes down to you doing what you really want to do. If you want to build a company, going independent is the best way to go. No matter which you choose, most of them are going to have their own advantages and disadvantages.

There are a lot of college students leaning towards getting involved with an independent venture. Once I first started doing these seminars and talking with people, a majority of people were on rap and hip-hop but nowadays, especially with the Grammy U students, these are not just people who are interested in hip-hop. These are people that are into all kinds of music. These are students who are really musicians and that respect the whole art of music.

The most important part about the music industry is knowing the business of it because when you have a clear understanding of how the business is run, that makes it easier for you to be successful in whatever way you want to go in your career. When you know a lot about the business, then you can really tell which direction you want to go. Learn about the business. Learn the in's and out's of exactly how this music business runs. Learn about your publishing and your digital rights.

The GRAMMY University Network (GRAMMY U) is a unique and fast-growing community of college students who are pursuing a career in the music industry. The Recording Academy created GRAMMY U to help prepare students for careers in the recording industry through networking, educational programs and performance opportunities. DJ Michael "5000" Watts actively participates in The Grammy U and helps eager music industry hopefuls attain first-hand knowledge of what it takes to break into the business.

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